If you’ve ever had to call a service repair company, you’ve likely felt a sting of shame because you think you did something wrong. In Texas, the one repair technician everyone dreads calling is the local AC contractor. Why? Well, in case you didn’t know, it gets really warm in Texas. Many are able to handle the temperatures quite well, while others can’t wait to crank their air conditioners to arctic temperatures. |
It should surprise no one that these systems find themselves working REALLY hard. After all, if it’s 105ºF outside and you’re actively trying to make your home be 65ºF, that is a Herculean task. Your air conditioner is giving everything it has & likely won’t be shutting off for hours. Keep in mind that bedtime temps may only get down to about 80ºF.
To get a better perspective on what that’s doing to your AC, take any appliance in your home whose manufacturer states to keep from running too long at one time. Then, do exactly that because you want a particular result. Maybe you want the creamiest all-natural, homemade peanut butter direct from your super-sweet, high-price blender. If the blender runs too long, you’ll notice a few things: 1) the blender will start to overheat; and 2) you’re no longer in the mood for peanut butter.
As such, the first thing all AC contractors will their clients knew is that they just shouldn’t push their HVAC systems so hard. You will find that comfort levels in your home, whether you’re heating or cooling it, are actually at vastly different temperatures than you think they should be.
Now there’s likely a chorus of people out there who are shouting about not being HVAC experts. What could they possible do to help keep their HVAC systems healthy? Actually, according to just about every AC contractor out there, a lot. Here are some of their best tips:
Change Filters Regularly - You know how you’ve gotten used to breathing? Well, it turns out that your HVAC system likes to do the exact same thing. Unfortunately, when a filter stays in place for months at a time, your system can't efficiently move air. Ask yourself this — how well do you work when you’re stuffed up & can’t clear your sinuses?
Check Your Thermostat - Even when we’re being responsible heating & cooling users by programming our thermostats to reasonable temperatures, we actually need to make sure the thermostat is accurate. Being off by even 1-2 degrees can make a huge difference in how often your HVAC is clicking on & off, leading to unnecessary wear & tear.
Check Your Doors & Windows - An HVAC system is a whole-house system, which includes your WHOLE HOUSE. Check your doors & windows for any drafts that may be seeping in. If there’s air coming into your home, then there’s air going out. While it may seem like no big deal, it is. Open your refrigerator & leave the door open to cool the kitchen during a particularly warm day. Even if you’ve got a stout fridge with all the cool features in the world, it’s job is not to cool the square footage of a room in your home. As such, your HVAC system isn’t meant to heat or cool your home & part of the outdoors.
Don’t Depend on Band-Aids - If there’s one thing that really gets under AC contractors’ skin, it’s when homeowners tend to depend on quickie repairs & stop-gap work to keep a system going that isn’t doing the job right any longer. Yes, getting a replacement system is expensive. There are no two ways about it. However, the longer you maintain a poor system, the more your utility bill will be decimated & you’ll be collecting larger repair invoices until there’s no other choice but replacement.
Much of this sounds like gloom & doom, but it’s actually not as terrible as you might think. If you really want to know what all AC contractors wish you did for your HVAC system? Easy — maintain regular service every year. That’s it. A dependable company will come out twice a year to give your system a once-over, make repairs as needed, and give you insight on what you may be looking at down the line regarding replacement. But this simple preventative maintenance is key to keeping your HVAC system doing what it do for as long as it can.
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